Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sewing or Sowing?

Zinnia seeds from previous year - still attached to dried flower petals.
It really wasn't a question!  I knew the answer!  My Janome & the fabric for the Envelope Pillows would need to wait.  Sunday's cold temps and the previous days of much needed rain was not ideal for planting the Zinnia and Coreopsis seeds.  Yesterday, the sun was shining, so I was ready to go.  Go outside and plant flower seeds, that is!

During the summer months it's always so relaxing to glance outdoors or to walk past and view vibrant colored flowers in our gardens.  Last year the Painted Lady Butterflies visited the colorful Zinnias.  These butterflies do look similar to a Monarch Butterfly, but after examining closely, a difference can be noticed.  (Click on FuN Facts above.)

Painted Lady Butterfly on Orange Zinnia.  (File Photo)
Last fall many Zinnia seeds (from small, medium and large plants in height) were saved and dried from the beautiful flowers.  The seeds would be planted this Spring.  With our cold weather and then rainfall this past week, the first opportunity was yesterday.  After gently crushing the dried petals, the seeds were ready to be planted.

Sure, the seeds may be purchased in packets, but there is something very satisfying about drying, saving and then planting seeds from a crop of gorgeous flowers that you've enjoyed during the previous summer.  Much like cooking healthy meals for your family to enjoy.

The seeds are in the ground and now will be watered daily.  Depending on our weather, little sprouts will be coming up...soon!

I cannot wait!
The flowers are to Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes
"This tastes really great!"  It was a direct quote from my DH this AM at breakfast.  Whenever I hear a positive review after the first bite of a food, I usually jokingly inquire, "May I use that quote?"  "Yes!" was the reply.  That is the story.

Hot Oatmeal Pancakes with a hint of Cinnamon & Nutmeg topped with defrosted slightly sweetened sliced Strawberries were on our Breakfast Menu this AM.  These pancakes are just yummy!  However, it's no secret that my DH's fave is Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes.  Both pancakes require Buttermilk.  (I use the Fat Free variety.)  This week whenever I opened the door of my kitchen cabinet the container of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats beckoned to me.  It definitely was a plan - Oatmeal Pancakes!
Last night, 2 Cups of Oats, the Cinnamon & the Nutmeg were combined with 2 Cups of Fat Free Buttermilk in a bowl.  The covered bowl was placed in the fridge.  A package of locally grown frozen sliced Strawberries that I froze last June was defrosted in the fridge.  This AM I was good to go!
(File Photo)
No, we do not devour the entire batch at once.  The remaining pancakes are packed away in the freezer to enjoy on other mornings - after a quick pop in the microwave!

Oatmeal Pancakes


2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups Fat Free Buttermilk
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
teaspoon Nutmeg
* * * *
1 Cup Fat Free Buttermilk – use the next morning
½ Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Egg + 2 Egg Whites, lightly beaten
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil ( for sauteing & baking) I use Carapelli.

  1. Combine Oats, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Buttermilk in a bowl.  Cover & refrigerate overnight.
  2. Next morning – add additional 1 Cup Buttermilk to mixture so it can be combined easily.
  3. Stir Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder & Baking Soda together in small bowl.
  4. Add to Oats mixture.
  5. Add beaten Egg + Egg Whites and Olive Oil. 
  6. Stir all adding small amount of Buttermilk, if needed.
  7. Pour ¼ cup portions on heated non-stick griddle. 
  8. When brown, flip over and cook other side.
Top with fresh or slightly sweetened defrosted Strawberries.


***As we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday pause to remember and to honor
those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.          

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Celebrating My Town's History

O.K., I haven't forgotten where my stove is located nor have my DH & I cut back on the number of meals we enjoy each day!  We've been involved in the planning of Long Meddowe Days.  This great event each May is a celebration of the colonial history of my town, Longmeadow.  Long Meddowe Days was last weekend, so now I need to replenish my fridge and also my freezer!

This weekend festival is enjoyed by town residents and visitors from my area.  History Tours, a Craft Fair, Food, Entertainment and other events for families to enjoy are all part of the weekend FuN!  Below are photos shared - compliments of the Long Meddowe Days Committee.

Craft Fair

9th Massachusetts Artillery -  Civil War Re-enactors
There is always a supply of Yummy Yogurt & Solar Green Tea in the fridge, but it's time to bake a batch of Cinnamon Craisin English Muffin Loaves.  And also so many other foods!  My list is growing, but Long Meddowe Days was great!

We did enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

FuN Day

Fenway Park - May 11, 2013
On a whole we all hopefully try to eat balanced meals each day.  There are exceptions to those well planned meals!  Saturday was definitely an exceptional day... in more ways than one.  Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes that were defrosted/ heated in the microwave made for a delicious nutritious filling easy breakfast.  My family was on our way to Fenway Park!  My younger son had planned this gift for all of us.

Driving to Riverside in the eastern part of my state to park the car, riding the T into Boston and then walking the short distance to the game from the T stop is all part of the FuN.  Then, nothing beats eating a Fenway Frank while watching the Red Sox!  It was all part of the great Mother's Day weekend!  Chillin' with my daughter-in-law and the men in the fam while watching the game!  Woohoo!  FuN!

We did enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Speaking as a Mom, a Mother-in-Law and also a Grandmother (& Happy Wife), I totally enjoy Mother's Day!  I wish all Moms a wonderful day!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spanish Rice

A canopy of trees in my neighborhood!

First, the sight outside my kitchen window only attracted my attention each morning.  Now, as my backyard perennial garden grows, the beautiful colorful trees in my neighborhood are bursting with color!  Spring has arrived in MA!  While taking a daily walk or driving through my New England town, the gorgeous colors found on an artist's palette are right before my eyes!   

The first days of May bring tulips and daffodils.  It also brings Cinco de Mayo!  On the fifth day of May it has become a tradition with me to prepare Spanish Rice for dinner.  It surely is a change of pace to make dinner on my stove top rather than use the outdoor grill.  A can of Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce & Rice will be located easily tomorrow.  Sliced Peppers will be defrosted and the Ground Beef will be purchased.   

The Rice is cooked before using.  This is an easy delicious dinner!


Spanish Rice

1 lb. Ground Beef, browned
1 can (15 oz.) Tomato Sauce
1 can (15 - 20 oz.) Tomatoes - whole or pieces, drained
1 Green Pepper - cut into strips (I use defrosted slices.)
2 Cups cooked Rice

1/4 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. Basil
1 Tablespoon chopped Parsley


  1. Brown 1 lb. Ground Beef.
  2. While browning Beef, combine Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes and cut/ or defrosted Green Pepper in large pot and simmer.
  3. Add browned Beef and stir.
  4. Add in cooked Rice, Oregano, Basil and Parsley.  Stir well and simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Stir occasionally while simmering. 
This is also a quick dinner on after a very busy day!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

~ May 1 ~

My view from my kitchen window!

A beautiful time of year!